Melissa Mark-Viverito named City Council speaker

Melissa Mark-Viverito
Melissa Mark-Viverito

East Harlem City Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito has been elected City Council Speaker, beating out Dan Garodnick for the position formerly held by one-time mayoral candidate Christine Quinn.

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Backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as real estate development executives aligned with Democratic county leaders in Queens and the Bronx, Mark-Viverito has a reputation for dogged persistence and a tendency to polarize. She also had the backing of the Hotel Trades Council in her bid for speaker. Garodnick, despite his push for hotel worker labor agreements in his battle against the Midtown East rezoning proposal, was unable to secure the group’s backing. A  number of labor unions, including health care workers’ union 1199 S.E.I.U., backed Mark-Viverito following de Blasio’s election.

Garodnick formally conceded on the Council Chamber floor just after 1:00 p.m., the New York Times reported. Minutes before the vote, and just after he arrived at the chamber, he embraced Mark-Viverito, the newspaper said. [NYT]Julie Strickland